Brexit has been as bad as any surge in washing away hitherto strong foundations. I am talking about friendships. I have never known the like. To be called a racist, a ‘little Englander’ and worse was bad enough, but to have people one has long known and liked say they could no longer be friends with ‘someone like you’ was very shocking. My father was a Mass-going Roman Catholic, a Labour voter and a union shop steward. My mother was a church-going Anglican and lifelong Conservative. They were married for 33 years and although their union was alarmingly fiery, they made a pact from the beginning that they would never argue about, or even discuss, religion or politics. They kept it. I was sent to a Catholic convent school, but Church of England Sunday school and Girl Guides. If all that could be arranged amicably, heavens to Betsy surely friends can remain friends, whatever happens to the relationship between us and the EU — which in any case is a relatively young one.
Susan Hill’s 28th novel, From the Heart, will be published on 2 March.
This is an extract from Susan Hill’s Diary, which originally appeared in this week’s Spectator